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Two Classic ‘70s Bands Will Appear At Playfair

Part of the beauty of summer is outdoor concerts.

On Saturday, there’ll be nothing quite like basking in the sun at Playfair Race Course, kicking back in beach chairs or on blankets and soaking in the mellow tunes of two distinguished classic rock bands, America and the Little River Band.

Both bands have a long history of smash hits and best-selling albums, so this should make for a worthwhile show.

America is in the midst of a fulltime comeback.

Two of the group’s three original singers, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, lead the latest incarnation of America.

Known for its gorgeously constructed and cleanly executed harmonies, comparable to Crosby, Stills and Nash, America stands as one of the best folk-rock products of the ‘70s.

America spawned its first hit in 1970 with “A Horse with No Name.” That same year, the band launched two more Top 10 successes.

At the Grammy Awards a year later, America was voted best new band.

The trio - which also featured singer/guitarist Dan Peek, who left later in the decade to pursue a career as a gospel singer - released a string of Top 10 hits in the 1970s.

During the latter part of the decade, America remained hitless, though the group continued to release new albums.

The dry spell temporarily ended in 1982 as the song “You Can Do Magic” soared up the charts.

This year, the group recorded its first album, “Hourglass,” in more than a decade. The album contains six new songs, two previously unreleased songs written during the band’s early days and two re-recorded tunes of previously released material.

The Little River Band was one of the first Australian rock bands to find success not only internationally but also in the United States, the most difficult place on the planet to make it as a band.

To date, the Australian band has sold 20 million albums worldwide.

Most of the group’s hits, such as “It’s a Long Way There,” “Reminiscing,” “Lady,” “Take it Easy on Me” and “Cool Change,” came during the ‘70s and early ‘80s.

Though its popularity waned during the mid-‘80s, the band never bowed out. Even if its new records didn’t sell all that well, the Little River Band continued to tour here with success.

xxxx America and the Little River Band Location and time: Playfair Race Course, Saturday, 6 p.m. Tickets: $15 ($20 day of show)